Rotherham United: Millers have no appetite to sell star striker Michael Smith

ONLY ‘lunacy money’ could possibly tempt Rotherham United into selling Michael Smith in January, Paul Warne admits.

TOP TARGET: Rotherham United striker Michael Smith Picture: Bruce Rollinson

The talismanic striker has been at the heart of the Millers’ outstanding rise to the top of League One, with Warne side’s unbeaten in 15 matches in all competitions.

Smith, 30, is out of contract in the summer and his long-term future up in the air, but his impact is such that he is a player who United cannot afford to sell if they are to give themselves the best chance of securing a hat-trick of instant promotions back to the Championship.

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Warne, whose side triumphed 2-0 at Ipswich on Tuesday, said: ”I do not think there is any appetite from the owner to cash in; he wants promotion and you would not sell your best players if that is what you want.

“I am not saying this as a warning, but I have no intention to sell. If someone phoned up and said, ‘I’ve got x million for Smudge’, I’d say, ‘Great, but we could earn this from going up and your bid is not enough’.

“I cannot see anyone leaving unless it is lunacy money in this [January] window because I cannot spend it. If you give me £2million for Smudge, thanks – but what am I going to do with it? I’ve got to try and get a player under our wage structure who is as good as Smudge. I have got no chance.

“I honestly do not think we will sell anyone.

“If I get to April time and we look like we have a real chance of going up, I probably have more chance of getting Smudge to stay [and sign a new deal]. That is my best sales pitch; he could have the security now but I assume his agent wants to see how they go.”

Rotherham United manager, Paul Warne Picture: Bruce Rollinson